Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tallis - Lamentations of Jeremiah - The Deller Consort

Rating: 2/5

A period piece

We owe Alfred Deller a huge debt of gratitude for his influence in bringing so much Renaissance music, including Tallis's Lamentations, back into the repertoire.  This recording originally from 1968 (I think) is a case in point.  Sadly though, I don't think it has aged well, influential though it undoubtedly was.

These things are a matter of taste, of course, but for me the Deller Consort's sound simply doesn't do justice to this fabulous music.  The balance of voices is variable and distracting so that Tallis's wonderful textures don’t really emerge, and the vibrato used by the singers prevents the chords and shifting harmonies from really ringing.

There are many very fine recordings available of Tallis's Lamentations, including wonderful interpretations by The Hilliard Ensemble, The Tallis Scholars, The Taverner Consort and Magnificat, all of which are different in their sound and all of which I love.  Personally I would recommend any of these rather than The Deller Consort; I am grateful for this recording's influence and I respect it – but I don't actually like it much.

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